Thinking Readers

Why You Need to Challenge Your Reading Habits

Reading is pretty fantastic. Not only is it fun and relaxing, but it also improves your mind. I could list any number of studies that demonstrate how important it is to read. The trouble is, too many readers stagnate in their reading habits.

They pick a genre or two, they find authors that agree with their worldview, and they read those books. They don’t challenge themselves, and as a result, they don’t grow.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that having a favourite genre or favourite authors is wrong. I love fantasy and can certainly list a few favourite authors. But I try not to exclusively read in that niche.

The truth of the matter is that we learn different things from different books and different authors.

So how can you challenge yourself? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Read in different genres! You don’t have to read everything, but find a few genres that are new to you and try them out. You could even try something super niche like Feghoot (nope, I’m not making that up).
  2. Read non-fiction. I love fiction as much as the next person over, but it rarely challenges our mindsets as much as non-fiction works do. Biographies are great, because they present the views of real people, rather than limited fictional characters. Plus, biographies can sometimes contain stories that are even crazier than fiction.
  3. Read books that are directly targeted towards growth. Books on spiritual and personal growth are great for breaking you out of your habits, even if it can be uncomfortable.
  4. Read stories with radically different worldviews from yours. I’m not saying that you need to surround yourself with these stories, but give them a try sometimes.
  5. Read stories by authors from different cultures. I can’t speak for everyone, but my shelf contains an awful lot of North American authors. While that’s not an inherently bad thing, books are a great way to expand your worldview, and authors with other cultural backgrounds can help you do that.

So how will you challenge yourself in your reading habits? Try picking one way, and let me know what you choose!

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